Real RVA Wedding: Shannon & Kevin
Shannon & Kevin
May 16, 2015
How They Met
Shannon says, “Kevin and I met in 2008 through my best friend, Lindsay. Kevin and I became friends and went to music festivals together. We would travel to see various live music in Baltimore, DC and Richmond. He and I remained just friends up until August 2011 when he was traveling back to DC from South Carolina and asked to stay at my place in Richmond. My roommate, friend, and I sat on the front porch with Kevin hanging out and having a few drinks. My friends asked if he was single and immediately felt like saying, ‘NO!’ even though he was single. Things took off from there.
How He Asked
Kevin had planned to take me out to dinner at one of our favorite Richmond restaurants, Edo Squid, and then to Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens. It was five days before Christmas and the gardens were all lit up with Christmas lights! It was beautiful! When we pulled up, I remember that he kept saying, ‘There are a lot of people here.’ I told him, ‘Well, it’s five days before Christmas, of course there are a lot of people here!’ It was his first time at Lewis Ginter, so he had no real plan as to where he would propose, but we seemed to find the perfect spot along the water and surrounded by lights. I’m not sure what he said when he went down on one knee, but I obviously said yes! It was one of the best moments of my life and a feeling that we will never forget.
The Perfect Place
We had about 18 months for planning the wedding, and the planning process began immediately! Kevin and I had been looking at Historic Mankin Mansion online and were hoping that it looked as good as it did in the pictures that we had found online! We were not disappointed and eagerly booked our wedding date! Not only is the mansion beautiful, but it also had everything we wanted. In hopes that the weather would be sunny, it offered us an outdoor ceremony site with super easy access to the cocktail hour and reception area since it’s all on the grounds. We really liked this since it limited people having to drive from one location to the next.
Since Historic Mankin Mansion is a bed and breakfast, we were also able to book the entire weekend and use all of the rooms for family and friends, as well as a suite for Kevin and I! Each morning, the guests were provided champagne breakfast, which made the day easy and enjoyable. Another huge selling point was the staff, they were amazing from the first meeting with them to all the meetings with our wedding planner to the day of the event.
I wanted the decorations to be simple, classy and tasteful. I also wanted to add pops of color with the bridesmaids dresses and flowers for the centerpieces.
As I planned for the wedding, I knew that I wanted to keep it simple and allow the beauty of the Mansion to speak for itself. Having that in mind kept me from not going too overboard on the details. Kevin and I love music, and the best part about Historic Mankin Mansion for us was that Martin, the owner and DJ at HMM, worked with us and allowed us to plan the music for every point of our wedding weekend. It was perfect!
Our special detail that we had for the wedding was a farm table that my step father, Jimmy, had made for us. It was gorgeous! Another little touch that we added, which was my Moms and my favorite part of planning, was buying Virginia wine to serve at our wedding!
A really neat moment of our wedding day was our speeches from the Best Man and Matron of Honor, who unfortunately could not be there due to the birth of their son. Instead, they recorded their speeches and Historic Mankin Mansion was able to project the speeches onto the tent. My Matron of Honor, Lindsay, had an extra surprise waiting for me at the end of her speech which included a letter from Taylor Swift congratulating me on my wedding day. Unbeknownst to me, Lindsay had been working on this for several months and was eventually and thankfully successful! This letter is currently located framed and on our living room mantle.
We asked: What was your absolute favorite part of the day? Does your groom have a different favorite?
Shannon tells us, “Oh goodness! Obviously marrying Kevin was my favorite part of the day. But honestly, each part of the day from waking up with my girlfriends at the venue, getting ready, the wedding ceremony itself, saying ‘I do,’ the many pictures that were taken, our introduction as husband and wife, the reception, and the after party were so different and brought various feelings and emotions to me that I won’t forget.”
Venue & Music: Historic Mankin Mansion
Wedding Consultant: Kate Miller at Historic Mankin Mansion
Catering & Rentals: I.K Catering
Photography: M&J Photography
Rehearsal Dinner: Patrick Henry “˜s Pub and Grille
Officiant: Sonny Boyer, Father of the Groom
Gown: Wtoo, Bella Rosa
Veil: Bella Rosa
Hair & Makeup: Jennifer Saunders Bridal
Bride’s Earrings: Cowardin Jewelers
Bride’s Bracelets: Swarovski tennis bracelet, Blue Nile Triple Strand Baroque Fresh Water Pearls
Bridesmaid Dresses: J. Crew
Formalwear: Jos. A.Bank
Invitations & Stationery: Minted
Flowers: Stems and Whims
Cake/Sweets: Katherine’s Confections
Accommodations & Transportation: Hampton Inn
Honeymoon: Sandals Whitehouse Resort, Jamaica